Cambodia’s year-on-year rice exports for the first three months of 2015 increased by 77 percent, according to figures released Tuesday by the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF).
Exports in January through March totaled 149,464 tons, compared to 84,331 tons in 2014, according to the figures. CRF vice president Kim Savuth said that a sharp increase in rice exported to China was largely responsible for the spike.
The world’s second-largest economy only imported “2,000 or 3,000 tons” in the first quarter of 2014, he said. By contrast, it accounted for more than 36 percent of exports in 2015.
“Our rice exports early this year have increased a lot, firstly because the exports to China cover almost half of the total and exports to the European Union also increased, while Thailand released less of its stockpiled rice,” Mr. Savuth said.
Long Saran, CEO of Amru Rice, said a preference among Cambodian farmers for growing long-grain rice had also helped drive up exports thanks to its competitive price on the global market.
The government has for years said it was aiming to export 1 million tons of rice this year, but has already admitted that it is more likely to export about 600,000 tons.